4 Reasons to Let Vendors Prepare Trays for Decontamination in the OR


Why don’t some hospitals allow vendors to reset trays at the end of a procedure? Some hospitals are adamant about this policy, and it’s always vexed me. It seems like a mutually beneficial service that vendors and hospitals should be aligned on:


1) The vendor knows how to properly disassemble complex instrument constructs used during the procedure.

  • Wouldn’t this help the decontamination tech save time, avoid instrument damage, and ensure proper cleaning?

2) Provides an opportunity to organize used vs unused instruments; Placing used instruments in a tub, or at the very least on top of a towel, to clearly indicate what was actually used during the procedure.

  • Wouldn’t this help decontamination know where most of their attention needs to be focused when they’re going through the thousands of instruments in front of them?

3) Vendors are motivated to treat the used instruments with point-of-use instrument prep spray. In addition to helping the decontamination techs, this also reduces the risk for bioburden being stuck on my instruments.

  • With all the other things the nursing staff must do in the OR, one less thing is always helpful.

4) Reduce lost instruments and time for pick-up. A little organization can go a long way. Instead of everything getting jammed into a case cart, this can help get the instruments processed quicker and in one group.

  • When the rep can find all the instruments, they don’t have to interrupt SPD to find any lost instruments.

Instead of asking why some hospitals don’t allow this, maybe the question should be why don’t they require it?